Europe

Of the ten most visited countries in the world, European nations account for seven (if you include Turkey and Russia, which span both Europe and Asia). And with 50 countries on the European continent, offering such a rich variety of natural and cultural experiences, it can be difficult knowing where to start planning your European vacation. That’s where Stride, with our handy comparison tools, can help you find the right tour – and make your visit to Europe as easy as un, deux, trois.

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Top Trip Memories


  • Drinking in the panoramic views while hiking the Swiss Alps, where all the trails are neatly marked.

  • Soaking up ancient history in the ruins of the Roman forum or the Acropolis in Athens.

  • Standing at the top of Europe in northern Norway, gazing out at the Barents Sea -- far north of the Arctic Circle.

  • Sipping an aperitif at a café with views of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

  • Sailing into Budapest at night aboard a Danube River cruise ship, with the Hungarian Parliament Building lit up like a huge birthday cake.

  • Biking alongside the canals in Amsterdam en route to the Anne Frank House or the Rijksmuseum.

  • Touring the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, one of the finest examples of Moorish architecture.

  • Visiting the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican to marvel at the work of Michelangelo.

  • Steaming in a sauna in Finland, then jumping straight into a cold body of water to get the juices flowing.

  • Quaffing brews and singing oom-pah songs with the locals at a giant beer hall in Munich.

  • Riding a gondola or water taxi through the canals of Venice after eating real Italian pizza.

  • Wandering Old Town Square in Prague or the Grand-Place in Brussels, two of Europe’s most distinctive public squares.

  • Watching the changing of the guard at London’s Buckingham Palace.

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Tour Tips

River cruises are an appealing way to tour Europe in a relaxed mode that offers sightseeing in both atmospheric villages and big cities.


Europe is about more than high culture; active tours include cycling in Greece, hiking in the French or Swiss Alps, even walking across England.


Point-to-point walking or cycling tours through the countryside are a great way to meet locals along trails, in pubs, or in small town settings.


For the truly adventurous, consider tours that include running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain; “mud walking” in Holland; or glacier walking in Switzerland.


The “If It’s Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium” rush-rush-through-seven countries-in-a- week bus tours are mostly passé; consider focusing on one or just a few countries at a time.


Spain-Portugal; Denmark-Sweden-Norway; Czech Republic-Austria-Hungary; and Belgium-Netherlands are among those that make for nice regional tours.


While you can see something of Europe in a week, allowing at least ten days to two weeks for one to three countries is more satisfying.


Don’t be too concerned with language barriers when booking your tour, since many Europeans now speak English, and your guides can translate when necessary.


Many Europeans go on vacation for the entire month of August, so visiting in September or October can be ideal; the weather is cooler, too.

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Top Europe Trips View All Europe Trips

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South Africa & Victoria Fa ...

from $6,195 for 9 days, 1 reviews

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The Blue Danube - Eastboun ...

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Europe Trips & Tour Advice

While it’s the second smallest in size, Europe packs the most punch per square mile of any of the seven continents. With 50 countries occupying a space smaller than Antarctica, its cultural and geographic diversity is remarkable, and presents travelers with almost limitless options.

Will it be a tour of one or more of the classics: the British Isles, France, Spain, or Italy? Do Germany and the Rhine River beckon? Or does the sheer physical beauty of Switzerland and Austria? How about the hot new emerging
destinations of Central and Eastern Europe – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia? Will Greece – with its classical heritage and wealth of sun-kissed islands – draw you in? Or will Turkey lure you to its ancient shores? And then there’s Scandinavia, where Norwegian fjords and Swedish canal boats compete with Danish castles and Finnish saunas for your attentions. Russian Europe includes the splendid Baltic city of St. Petersburg, while Estonia’s walled Tallinn is a mostly undiscovered Baltic gem. And don’t forget the nations of Eastern Europe that are now attracting adventurous visitors: Montenegro, Romania, Poland, Bulgaria -- even once-closed Albania.

You can focus a European tour around cities – Paris, Rome, Venice, Florence, London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Krakow, Munich, Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon, Athens or
Istanbul – just to name a few. Or you can choose tours that concentrate more on small towns, villages and the countryside. Or that include both. The same is true for tours that primarily take a cultural theme – art, history, archaeology, music, food and wine, etc. – or a more active focus: walking, cycling, sailing. It’s easy to combine them all, because distances are generally short in Europe.

Virtually every tour of Europe is active in the sense that the older (and typically most interesting) parts of European cities are compact and made for walking, even if you are just strolling from museum to cathedral to outdoor café; it all adds up. Even culinary and wine-tasting tours can work off the pounds if combined with walking or cycling. But there are plenty of options for more traditionally active vacations as well. Walking trips that cover an average of ten miles a day or so and often spend nights in local inns are popular in France, Italy, Ireland, England, and many other European countries; best of all, your main luggage goes by van while you carry just a daypack. Cycling tours are popular throughout Europe, whether it’s in mostly flat Holland or conquering more rugged terrain on a Greek Island. River cruise boats along the Danube and other rivers often bring bicycles for passengers to ride along the river banks or explore small villages (electronic bikes that provide a boost going up hills are a frequent and welcome perk).

One thing you don’t want on your European tour is the stress of worrying about whether you’ve overlooked some “don’t miss” activities or attractions. With Stride’s help, you can be sure to find tour providers that know all the highways and byways throughout Europe, so you won’t miss a thing.